Daze Of Summer Fun

book binge

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Two or three times a year I get on a book binge – reading two or three different series of books over the course of a month or so.

I am currently in the throes of one of these page-turning sprees. Mysteries are the topic at the time. I made a visit to the library back in early to mid-June.

My last binge was in the fall when I revisited Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” series of time-traveling historic romance. I couldn’t remember which of her books between the first and the most recent, “An Echo in the Bone,” published in September 2009, I had read, so I decided to read all of them before treating myself to purchasing the latest entry in the series as a birthday gift for myself.

Reading the earlier entries was wonderful – curled up on my couch with a throw and my Cocker Spaniel, Jolly, over my lap. The latest book was great too, until I came to the end and was left with every storyline hanging. I was infuriated! In fact, I am still so angry about it, all these months later, that I don’t know if I will even take a look at the pre-publishing reviews of the next installment … all that time and all that money (about $30)!

Anyway, about the time I was reading the last Gabaldon, the new Sue Grafton entry in her Kinsey Millhone “A, B, C … is for …” came out, “U is for Undertow.” I debated buying a copy, but decided to be more frugal and check it out from the library later.

So, later on, in June, I went to the library and discovered it was out. I put my name on its reserve list and decided to look for other books in my various favorite mystery series to read.

Two of the authors I enjoy are J.A. Jance, both her J.P. Beaumont and Joanna Brady series, and Diane Mott Davidson and her Goldy Schulz series.

I took out the Jance book with both the Beaumont and Brady characters, “Fire and Ice,” this is the second in this “sub” series, the first was “Partner in Crime.” I enjoyed the first, not the second. Most of the interaction between the two characters was over the phone and the tie-in between their cases was a little forced.

I checked out three of Davidson’s books, “Double Shot,” “Dark Tort” and “Sweet Revenge.” The stories are fun to read, plus there are recipes (another favorite thing of mine) at the back of the book. The main character is a Colorado caterer who solves mysteries on the side.

Her latest, “Fatally Flaky,” was out, so I put my name in to reserve it too.

I read fast if it is a good book, so I knew I’d probably be through my four selections in just a few days.

I decided to look for a couple of more books and was perusing the “new items” shelf and came across an interesting looking little thing, “In a Gilded Cage” – it is a phrase I associate with the Edwardian era, one of my areas of interest.

Taking a closer look at it I discovered it was the second to latest entry in the “Molly Murphy Mystery” series by Rhys Bowen. If I can help it I try not to jump into the middle (or in this case near the end) of a book series. So, I did a little more research and checked out all the available Molly Murphy books the library had available at the time.

The author also has a couple of other series; one built around a 1930s British royal – the imagined “poor” great-granddaughter of Queen Victoria. So, I decided to check out what was available in that group as well. Fortunately my initial research showed there were only three entries, so I made pretty short work of them. Now I have discovered a fourth is out and will have to go in search of it.

I finally was able to read Grafton’s “U is for Undertow” this week. It was entertaining, but with my earlier ventures in this latest binge, I have a taste for the “cozy” variety that Bowen writes, so I have two more Molly Murphy’s to read. I am also looking forward to the latest Davidson and checking out the recipes.

I will read promotional pieces on new books on occasion and recently came across something that sounded intriguing, “The Imperfectionists,” which is about the people working at an English-language newspaper in Rome. The Payson Public Library has my name on the reserve list for it.

Summer reading is one of the great traditions of the season – staying up late, listening to music and soaking in a story from cover to cover.

Stop by the Payson Public Library in Rumsey Park or the Isabelle Hunt Memorial Library in Pine some day soon and indulge in your own book binge before it is time to start getting ready for fall and the upcoming holiday season.

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